Retrograde spread of 5-aminosalicylic acid enemas in patients with active ulcerative colitis

Dis Colon Rectum. 1986 Feb;29(2):108-10. doi: 10.1007/BF02555391.


In an attempt to know the exact retrograde spread of high-dosage 5-aminosalicylic acid enemas, we have studied eight patients with active left-sided colitis, by adding a small amount of barium sulfate to the enemas and by checking the spread radiologically after 15 minutes, 1 hour, and 6 hours. Four grams of 5-aminosalicylic acid in 100-ml enemas and 4 gm in 200-ml enemas were used. The same experiment was repeated in a subsequent attack, with enemas labeled with technetium-99m and checked by scintiscans in five of these patients. We always have observed a volume-dependent spread of enemas but, interestingly, in the patients studied with technetium-99m there was always a wider spread than that which was detected with barium enemas. In all five patients, 100-ml enemas reached the splenic flexure. In two patients with total colitis, a progression of 100-ml technetium-99m enemas was performed in the transverse colon, but the maximum opacity remained in the left side. We can conclude that 4 gm of 5-aminosalicylic acid in 100-ml enemas can be suitable for treating patients with left-sided colitis, and will represent a valid addition for patients with more extensive colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aminosalicylic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Aminosalicylic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnostic imaging
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Enema*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesalamine
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Technetium


  • Aminosalicylic Acids
  • Mesalamine
  • Technetium